Deceptive Trade Practices Act In Texas

People in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Mansfield, Crowley, Benbrook, Burleson, Keene, Joshua, Cleburne, Granbury, Pecan Plantation, Acton, and other places in Texas need to have a basic understanding of some of the consumer protection laws enacted to protect them against businesses that violate basic rules of fairness.
The Texas Business & Commerce Code, Section 17.46(b) has a “laundry list” of false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices that have been declared unlawful by the Texas Legislature. In the appropriate situation, even the district and county attorneys throughout the state will get involved in making sure the public is protected from illegal acts that some businesses engage in.
Here is a partial list of some of the unlawful conduct found in the above section:
1. passing off goods or services as those of another;
2. causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
3. causing confusion or misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
4. using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;
5. representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection which he does not;
6. representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
7. representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
8. disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of facts;
9. advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
10. advertising goods or services with intent not to supply a reasonable expectable public demand, unless the advertisements disclose a limitation of quantity;
11. making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amount of price reductions;
12. representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law;
13. knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the need for parts, replacement, or repair service;
14. misrepresenting the authority of a salesman, representative or agent to negotiate the final terms of a consumer transaction;
15. basing the charge for the repair of any item in whole or in part on a guaranty or warranty instead of on the value of the actual repairs made or work to be performed on the item without stating separately the charges for the work and the charge for the warranty or guaranty, if any;
16. disconnecting, turning back, or resetting the odometer of any motor vehicle so as to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge;
17. advertising of any sale by fraudulently representing that a person is going out of business;
18. (this section deals with health insurance and prescription cards)
19. (this section deals with chain selling plans)
20. representing that a guarantee or warranty confers or involves rights or remedies which it does not have or involve, …:
21. promoting a pyramid promotional scheme as defined by Section 17.461;
22. representing that work of services have been performed on, or parts replaced in, goods when the work or services were not performed or the parts replaced;
23. (this section is semi-complicated and deals with filing lawsuits)
24. failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed;
25. using the term “corporation,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of either of those terms in the name of a business entity that is not incorporated under the laws of this state or another jurisdiction;
26. (this section deals with anuity contracts)
27. taking advantage of a disaster declared by the govenor under Chapter 418, Government Code, by: (a) selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or (b) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity.
Even the above list is only a partial list of wrongs that businesses can commit and be in violation of state law. A careful reading of the list will show that these are necessary protections for the public to prohibit wrongful conduct on the part of bussinesses.
Other sections in the Texas Business & Commerce Code provide exemptions and exclusions for businesses, depending on the type of business or service they are providing.
Other sections refer to other laws such as laws found in the Federal Trade Commission rulings and acts.
One thing for certain; it is necessary to check with an attorney who handles Deceptive Trade Practice cases whenever you find yourself in a situation where a company is trying to take advantage of you.